Why is the US birth rate falling? Children offer a decreasing return on investment :)

I have always been a fan of Ben Stein’s articles. I find this one both intriguing and amusing:
http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/31/magazines/fortune/children_value_benefits.fortune/index.htm

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  • He seems pretty bitter to me. I guess he didn't spend much time with his kids (other than driving them around). What is interesting about this article is that it is one of many media pieces that have come out recently arguing against having children. The thing is, if you are happy with your children, you're probably hanging out with them instead of thinking about sitting down and writing an op-ed about why they are so great.

  • Seriously–how can anyone complain that the birth rate is falling? The shortsighted economists of the 19th century forgot that the planet has a carrying capacity, but now that we've so drastically exceeded it and are destroying every piece of our life-support system so quickly, it takes one bloody hell of a fool to assert that a declining birth rate is a problem. I'd expect that the earth's population will be below one billion in 100 years one way or another. Call me crazy, but I'd kind of prefer that that be by a reduction in birth rate than by the alternatives. Which mechanism do you prefer?

  • I yi yi….Benji….the only thing that will happen when Western birth rates decline is that our culture will be replaced by those whose birth rates are NOT declining. So cheer up sourpuss and go make some lady pregnant because whilst I'm open to new experiences "The West" has lead the way for several centuries now and i really do not want to live in a "peoples republic". Oh wait….I do …I live in the USA under Obama. Talk about backwards. No new ideas from the dem's since 1932 under FDR and those were questionable!

  • Um, Fred… would you rather live in a "peoples republic" or in a world with no fish, trees, drinkable water, topsoil, or really resources of any sort? Not that you have much choice–we're way beyond the point where one large offender can negate the efforts of everyone else. You may want to verify that civilisations that don't manage their natural resources tend to last just about until their resources run out. FWIW China is the only country I know of with any meaningful population control, and they're not doing too badly. Sticking your head in the sand is not sustainable either–there's only so much sand…As for Obama, I don't understand your complaint. Are you objecting to the fact that he values education, science, resource management, fiscal responsibility, international relations, etc? His attempts to give you the chance to make decisions about your health without giving for-profit corporations veto rights? Or perhaps the fact that he still hasn't managed to cut back much on Bush-era (what I think of as "peoples republic") surveillance of our citizens, suspension of civil rights, etc?